Monday, February 23, 2009

Turtle Time!

Amazing - yet another February is here and another baby turtle hatching and releasing season starts!

We were invited to Fisherman's Cove, - a Taj 5* hotel along East Coast Road, to help release the first batch of baby Olive Ridley turtles into the ocean at high tide. So we arrived on the beach just in time, to find the largest crowd we have ever seen! This is The Ray's first time with baby turtles, but Nikh is an old hand. I think My Darling was a little overwhelmed by the enormity of playing such an important part in the grand scheme of Mother Nature! He stood back and just drank in the whole scene!

The kids and I got right into things, and were given a cute, slimy, black baby turtle to hold in the palm of our hands. The Ray tried valiantly to hold one, but the 'Eeeeuw, Mama it is yucky!' got the better of her! Nikh manfully strode to the edge of the surf, and followed directions - you must let the baby feel the sand and walk into the sea because they come back to the beach where they were born to nest and lay their eggs. If they don't walk into the ocean (if you throw them into the water for example) they can never find their way back.
Eventually I held The Ray's hand and together we helped the little fellow/gal settle down on the shore and wait for a touch of a wave to encourage him/her forwards. We watched with cries of delight "Swim baby turtle! Swim far away" Cried The Ray. "Watch out for the sharks and their big sharp teeth!!"
We watched many turtles struggle to swim out to sea against the waves crashing them back to shore. Fascinating that we have been a very real part of Nature's miracle - we helped an endangered species get a foothold on its journey around the world. Even though Nikh and I have done this many, many times - each time is just as exciting and emotional as the first.
The only way to describe it is - WOW!!